Art notes: ‘I Like Your Work’ features art meant to ‘excite’

It started with the book “I Like Your Work: Art and Etiquette,” a slim how-to volume that helps artists navigate the art world both socially and professionally. Topics range from the quantifiable specifics of buying and selling art to more esoteric discussions of how to experience that art.

Sarah Hummel Jones was fascinated with the book — and the topics it covered — and used it as the starting point for curating a group exhibition of the same name.

“I Like Your Work: Art & Etiquette,” which opens this weekend at Omaha Creative Institute, aims at getting people to experience art in manifold ways through carefully chosen works created by Kari Cholnoky, Davey Gilles, Dante Lentz and Nadege Roscoe-Rumjahn.

Each artist challenges how social mores mediate critical discussions with works that confuse — or even repel — viewers, just as much as they draw them in for closer viewing.

Davey Gilles’ works might at first appear like utilitarian objects rather than actual artworks. Gilles created all his items, which include apparel, shoes and dinnerware, for his own use through an exacting fabrication process.

“He’s interested in making everything you need,” Hummel Jones said. “He’s really great at doing research and teaching himself to make everything over and over again until he perfects it.”

Roscoe-Rumjahn’s work complements Gilles’ with witty fabric art, ranging from blankets and pillows to table linens. They, too, have specific purposes, but the artist re-imagines them in new forms to change — or enhance — how people interact with them.

At first glance, Cholnoky’s work seems less planned and more haphazardly created, making it a solid counterpoint to both Gilles and Roscoe-Rumjahn.

“It can look spontaneous, but there’s definitely a lot of planning to it,” Hummel Jones said. “There are so many layers.”

In contrast to the tactile quality inherent in those artists’ works, Lentz makes videos that pair synthesized sounds with painting documentation. Hummel Jones is intrigued with how his work implies narration.

“I really like his sense of imagery and pattern making,” she said.

While curating an exhibition with such a varied roster of artists has been a bit “like matchmaking,” Hummel Jones has enjoyed the challenge.

“Most curators have a specific theme, but I wasn’t interested in that,” she said. “I wanted to showcase artists whose aesthetics and works excite me — and will hopefully excite the public, too.”

Omaha Creative Institute, 1419 S. 13th St., Suite 103. “I Like Your Work: Art & Etiquette.” Opening reception: 6 to 8 p.m. Friday. Through May 5. omahacreativeinstitute.org or 402-996-1092.

 Kim Carpenter

NEW THIS WEEK

Bancroft Street Market, 2702 S. 10th St. “ArtSlam18.” The fundraiser for UNO student scholarships features artwork by eight emerging artists, who give presentations of their work. Patrons can vote for favorites with an opportunity to win artwork. 5:30 to 8:15 p.m. Thursday. Admission: $20. Tickets available at foaomaha.org, Gallery 72, Connect Gallery, CaliCommons or at the door.

Creighton University Lied Art Gallery, 2500 California Plaza. “BFA Thesis Exhibition.” Works from three Creighton University candidates: Summer Khalil “An Eternal Breath;” Leo Rosas Vickers “The Power of Will” and Mary Kate Costello “Building Connections.” Opening reception: 5-7 p.m. Friday. Through April 29.

Darger HQ, 1804 Vinton St. “Dialogical // Sophie Dvorák + Matthew Sontheimer.” Features work by Sophie Dvorák (Vienna, Austria) and Matthew Sontheimer (Lincoln), who use language and map imagery to analyze how media images and language convey information. Opening reception: 6 to 9 p.m. Friday. On view through June 3. dargerhq.org or 402-209-5554.

Fontenelle Forest Nature Center, 1111 Bellevue Blvd. North, Bellevue. “Floodplain Nature Photography Workshop.” Conservation photographer Alex Wiles leads a workshop in the forest’s Wetlands with a focus on capturing clean images on white background while photographing in the wild. 8 to 11 a.m. Saturday. $50. Registration is required. fontenelleforest.org or 402-731-3140.

Gallery 72, 1806 Vinton St. “Ink | Paper | Press: The Power of Prints.” Features more than 20 regional and national artists working in a wide variety of styles, printing methods and explorations of aesthetics. Opening reception: 5 to 9 p.m. Friday. Through May 5. gallery72.com or 402-496-4797.

Gallery 1516, 1516 Leavenworth St. “Opera Omaha’s ONE Festival An Evening with Tracy Silverman.” Features a solo electric violin performance. 7:30 p.m. Thursday. $60 via onefestivalomaha.org. gallery1516.org or 402-305-1510.

Joslyn Art Museum, 2200 Dodge St. “Word as Image/Image as Word.” Focuses on the collaborative process involved in letterpress poetry production. Includes readings by writers and artists. 5 to 8 p.m. Thursday. Free.

Also at Joslyn: “Nature/Play.” The museum partners with the Henry Doorly Zoo & Aquarium for an afternoon of family fun exploring art and nature. 1 to 4 p.m. Saturday. Free.

Also at Joslyn: “Word/Play Curator Gallery Talk.” A 45-minute tour of the exhibition “Word/Play: Prints, Photographs, and Paintings by Ed Ruscha.” 2 to 3 p.m. Sunday. Joslyn members and UNMC students: free; general public: $10; college students: $5. joslyn.org or 402-342-3300.

KANEKO, 1111 Jones St. “Proving Up.” A performance of the Missy Mazzoli/Royce Vavrek opera as part of Opera Omaha’s ONE Festival. 7:30 p.m. Friday and 2 p.m. Sunday. $60.

Also at Kaneko: “Tornado.” The Eko Nova Season concludes with cellist Joshua Roman and the JACK Quartet. 7 to 8 p.m. Monday. Members & students: $10; general public: $15. thekaneko.org or 402-341-3800.

Omaha Creative Institute, 1419 S. 13th St., Suite 103. “Working Artist Wednesdays: Coaching Session #2.” Coach and litigator Susan Koenig leads a workshop on topics like negotiating prices, recruiting collaborators and hammering out contract details. 6:30 to 7:30 p.m. Wednesday. omahacreativeinstitute.org or 402-996-1092.

Project Project, 1818 Vinton St. “ROUGH TRADE. Features Larry Buller’s new ceramic works, which are situated someplace in time between the present and an alternate gay past. Opening reception: 6 to 10 p.m. Friday. Through May 13. projectprojectomaha.com.

Union for Contemporary Art, 2423 N. 24th St. “Written-Spoken-Sung.” Opera Omaha’s ONE Festival artists explore the words of Matthew Sontheimer’s, whose exhibition, “That’s right … I still don’t have a website” is currently on view. 2 to 6 p.m. Thursday.

Also at the Union: “Omaha Zine Fest 2018.” Features 100-plus zine creators from the Midwest and beyond who create publications that cover a variety of subject matters and perspectives. 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. Saturday.

Also at the Union: “Indie Lens Pop-Up Screening — Look & See: Wendell Berry’s Kentucky.” A portrait of the changing landscapes and shifting values of rural America in the era of industrial agriculture. 7 to 9 p.m. Wednesday. Free. u-ca.org or 402-933-3161.

UNO Criss Library, 6001 Dodge St. “Fridays with the Archives: Caring for Personal Digital Archives.” Experts from UNO Libraries’ Archives & Special Collections instruct how to preserve personal archives, ranging from photographs to electronic records. Noon to 1 p.m. Friday. unomaha.edu or 402-554-2640.

Urban Abbey, 1026 Jackson St. “NebraskAbility.” Features photos and stories created by individuals with disabilities. 5 to 8 p.m. Monday. urbanabbeyomaha.com or 402-898-7600.

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